No protests were authorized in China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
As day broke farther west, banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”
Thousands turned out in Warsaw, in coal-reliant Poland, The Associated Press reported. The German police said several dozen activists had blocked a road in Frankfurt, the financial capital, while in Berlin, protesters blocked a bridge across the River Spree, according to The A.P.
Across Britain, there were large protests from Brighton to Birmingham, with the turnout in London especially large.
There, the carved sandstone of the Palace of Westminster reflected bright Autumn sunshine onto crowds flooding out of a nearby subway station.
Theo Parkinson-Pride, 12, was passing by the palace with his mother Catherine, 45, who said she had emailed her son’s school to tell them he would be missing classes on Friday. “I said to my mum, I feel this is more of important than school today because soon there may be no school to go to,” Theo said.
In Mumbai, children in oversize raincoats marched in the rain. In the Indian capital, New Delhi, where air pollution is among the worst in the world, dozens of protesters gathered outside a government building. “I want to breathe clean,” they chanted, The A.P. reported.
At a time of fraying trust in authority figures, children — who by definition have no authority over anything — are increasingly driving the debate over how to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Using the internet, they are organizing across continents like no generation before them. And though their vague, outsize demands for an end to fossil fuels mirror those of older environmentalists, their movement has captured the public imagination far more effectively.